Chapter 331: Nirvana

After resting his hands on Tsubaki’s back for a moment, Vahn confirmed the process in his head one last time before he began targetting the various nerve centers located in her body. One thing he had learned through his experimentation with [Hands of Nirvana] was that the skill was originally created for humans. There very various things he had to learn on his own, and this was the main reason why his skill didn’t develop as quickly as it should have since he used it often. The original skill focused on acupoints and pressure points within the body and massaging things like meridians to open up the channels in the body.

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However, though there were similarities, there was a big difference in the basic structure of every different race he had come across within the Danmachi record. Because the energy system of the world was fundamentally different than the record where [Hands of Nirvana] originated, Vahn had to literally ‘feel’ his way forward and experiment to better understand the skills use. Without this understanding, which eventually brought his skill to Rank-S, Vahn wouldn’t be able to make use of the skill to its full potential. This would be a problem since, the penultimate skill he was about to use, which also was where the skill derived its name from, was called ‘Nirvana’. A single mistake could result in various sequelae in Tsubaki’s body, and Vahn would lose his confidence even if he spent years trying to remove the effects of his mishap…

Though it wasn’t necessary, Vahn contracted his domain to the small size and brought about a state of absolute focus to his mind. The cooling sensation slowly spread through his body and the almost imperceptible shaking of his hands ceased in its entirety. Vahn used his [Eyes of Truth] to scan Tsubaki’s body from head to toe as he placed his fingers at the various nerve centers located through her body. The original record showed a total of 43 nerve centers, but Vahn found a total of 53 within Tsubaki’s Half-Dwarf body. He also noticed they were perfectly aligned and he planned to fix this so that her body would be balanced in the future. The only nerve center that evaded his touch was the small bead hidden within the dark garden of Tsubaki.

After he had completely relaxed Tsubaki’s muscles, even in her fingers and toes, she became completely limp against the table and drew slow and steady breaths. In order for her not to suffocate in the latter half of the procedure, Vahn would actually have to forcibly expand and contract her diaphragm manually or she wouldn’t be able to draw enough air to sustain her body. Though it was a tedious, and very dangerous, process, it was necessary so Tsubaki didn’t injure herself when he started. Unfortunately, though there might be some, pleasure wasn’t going to be what Tsubaki was feeling for the majority of the procedure. Her body would experience intense extremes of pain and other stimuli that a normal person wouldn’t be able to tolerate. By the end, her mind should be long gone from her body and Vahn would have to guide her back or she might be lost to the world forever.

‘Nirvana’, the skill Vahn was going to use, was the ultimate technique that could be used with the [Hands of Nirvana]. It literally made use of the principles of enlightenment, rebirth, and severance from the cycle of life and death. If used on a dying patient, or one that recently died, Vahn would literally be able to resurrect them if he applied the skill properly. When used on a living person, however, it was able to revitalize the energy within the trillions of cells that constituted their body. Though it couldn’t make them live forever, Vahn could extend the longevity of the cells by a great deal and prevent them from breaking down and decaying through the natural progression of time. There was a large downside to this, however, as the cells would catastrophically fail later in life, much like how elves stayed young for hundreds of years without changing before suddenly aging rapidly into an elderly appearance.

Vahn had studied a fair amount regarding the differences between species, because he was curious why others live far longer than everyone else. He was able to determine that the primary factors were the vitality of their cells, the physical endurance of the person, their magical capacity, and the strength of their soul. Since he could even inspect the bodies of goddesses, Vahn noticed that their cells were constantly being nourished by their Tier 4 souls and this was the secret behind their physical immortality. For elves, there was a similar process going on, but instead of their souls, it was their mana that nourished their cells. For physical fighters, and races like dwarves and giants, the vitality within the cells, and the natural temperature of their body, were much higher than other races.

The most important factor for his understanding, however, had been his own body and blood. Vahn noticed that his cells weren’t being nourished by anything, but the energy contained within his blood seemed limitless. His natural regeneration didn’t force the blood cells in his body to split and become defective over time…instead, the energy contained within the cells would spike for a brief moment before creating a perfect copy of the damaged tissue. This was what led to Vahn’s original breakthrough when it came to healing and influencing the energy within the bodies of others, because he knew he could use his ‘source’ energy to create what could only be called a miracle by those unaware of what was going on.

Vahn rubbed his hands together and they began to glow with a powerful, almost divine, white light that actually reminded him a lot of his blood in his past life. The light diffused into his own body, and it allowed him to see the shadows of his own bones and the powerful, energy-rich, blood flowing through his body. Vahn moved his fingers about dexterously and saw the various bones, tendons, muscles, and veins in his arms and hands move to match his movements. It was a peculiar sight, but Vahn felt encouraged since he knew this was the sign that the skill was being used properly.

Since he needed to start from the inside and work his way out, Vahn placed his hand on Tsubaki’s back, in the area directly above her heart. He began to channel the ‘Nirvana’ directly in her body and the healthy brown skin that made up her back began to take on a rosy shade before the luminescence of Vahn’s hand slowly spread in her body. As he continued to contact the same spot for nearly three minutes, Tsubaki’s body began to turn somewhat translucent under this palm as it began to slowly sink into her back. This was the first step of the skill, and the reason why it could even revive the dead, since Vahn had oversaturated the cells in both his hand, and her body, to the point where they were able to perfectly intermingle and move through each other.

Though it was almost impossible to see through normal means, every single particle that constituted the great whole of objects, both organic and inorganic, were entirely comprised of mana. If you removed the mana from an object, it would turn into dust and vanish into nothingness. It was the subtle, almost imperceptible differences, in the mana of everything that prevented them from moving through each other. By perfectly matching the constituent mana in Tsubaki’s body with his hand, Vahn was able to insert it into her body without even disrupting the flow of blood or damaging the surrounding tissues.

Nearly five minutes later, though it was actually only a few centimeters of distance, Vahn arrived at Tsubaki’s heart and could feel it pulsing rhythmically through his own hand and arm. He began to channel the energy of ‘Nirvana’ into her heart and it slowly pumped the life-giving energy throughout her entire body. As time passed, Tsubaki’s entire body began to start glowing and it was a very disconcerting sight for anyone other than Vahn. He knew this was part of the process, and his mind was in an absolute state of focus where the only things he could perceive were his hands and Tsubaki’s body.

After nearly two hours had passed, the light had completely saturated Tsubaki’s body and she had long lost consciousness. Her entire body was slightly translucent now and Vahn could see every bone, muscle, tendon, organ, and large blood vessel within her body. Even her aura had increased marginally and turned completely placid without a single ripple of emotion as it glowed with a pure white light. This state, as explained in the manual for [Hands of Nirvana], was called ‘Enlightenment’. Tsubaki was currently in a state where she had no thoughts, no emotions, and no sense of self. She was literally becoming one with the record itself and, if Vahn didn’t keep her grounded, there was a very real chance she would disperse into a cloud of pure magical energy.

While channeling the energy into her heart continuously, Vahn used his free hand to target the various ‘imperfections’ in Tsubaki’s body. After he put her into the state of ‘Enlightenment’ and completely dispersed his energy to encompass her body, the next step was to remove any abnormalities and sequelae that existed within her body. He massaged the various parts of her body and molded the energy with his fingers to forcibly reshape the energy channels of her body while also repositioning her nerve centers to make them aligned with each other. Had she been awake, Tsubaki would have been experiencing a pain unlike anything she had ever experienced since Vahn was literally changing her body from the inside-out while pulling and manipulating her actual nerves. Even in her state of ‘Enlightenment’, Tsubaki’s body responded to Vahn’s touch and seized up painfully even though he had forcibly relaxed the muscles in her body. Stimulating the nerves directly would cause her body to react, even if there was no tension in her muscles through her own will.

Though he had long lost his sense of time, it was nearly 7 AM the following day when Vahn finished the second phase of ‘Nirvana’ and had completely rebalanced Tsubaki’s body. He also removed any microfractures in her bones, dispersed any swelling in her joins, and even improved the blood flow through some of her veins that had become affected by her constant strength training and work as a blacksmith. He even removed some of the buildup of brackish material that had rooted itself in her liver before moving up and combing through the incredibly fine, porous, and spongey alveoli of her lungs. Though she properly ventilated her forge, Tsubaki couldn’t avoid breathing in a few microscopic particles of the various materials she used when creating items. Vahn had noticed this and removed the entirely of the built-up material so she would be able to breathe easily in the future without suffering from any sicknesses or ailments.

The most awkward part of the procedure had, of course, been massaging and shaping the various womanly traits of Tsubaki. Even in a state of absolute focus, Vahn had hesitated for a few milliseconds before he started. He had to move her body around a lot, and removed some of the tension and strain that had been building up in Tsubaki’s muscles that supported her relatively large breasts. Vahn also noticed that her right breast was marginally larger than her left because Tsubaki was predominately right-handed the muscles were more developed. Vahn ‘fixed’ this during his massage so that her body was almost perfectly symmetrical. He performed a similar procedure for all of her muscles, including the somewhat asymmetrical shape of her abdominal muscles and right glute. Since she leaned to the right when she swung her hammer, the entire right side of Tsubaki’s body was slightly more developed and unbalanced.

Of course, though the entire process as massaging her breasts and body was awkward, the most difficult part had been saved for last. Vahn had flipped Tsubaki onto her back and spread her legs as he massaged the areas around, and somewhat inside, of her v*****. Things had become somewhat ‘messy’ because of his actions, but Vahn ignored any discomfort and excitement he felt as he slowly helped revitalize the organ. Tsubaki hadn’t been a virgin, but Vahn still massaged and restored a bit of the tension inside her vulva. It was a very strange sight to see the somewhat fleshy interior contract slightly before returning to a somewhat ‘youthful’ state after a few long minutes of effort. By the time he was done, the slightly open vulva was sealed tightly in a youthful line and there was a springiness to the fleshy mound that made it seem entirely untouched.

The final phase had been something Vahn was putting off since it was both disconcerting and highly problematic to deal with. He laid Tsubaki on her back and positioned her parallel to the ground before placing his left hand between her cleavage and slowly sank his palm into her body and placed it back in her heart. He had removed his hand several times earlier, to reposition her body, but he had to make sure she was never allowed to fall out of ‘Enlightenment’ before he finished. Every separating for a few seconds could lead to her physical death, so Vahn was hesitant each time he moved her. After releasing a relieved sigh, Vahn placed his right hand under Tsubaki’s navel, right above her womb. He had already inspected it earlier since he was curious about why it was so difficult for half-breeds to get pregnant, and Vahn noticed that a vast majority of the eggs within Tsubaki’s ovaries contained no vitality. They still had ‘mana’ within them, but they were in a dormant, inactive state.

There was also another problem, which he intended to fix right now, and that was that the actual fallopian tubes leading to her ovaries were less than a tenth the size of Hephaestus’s and Loki’s. When her body moved around slightly, or when she tensed her abdominal muscles, the small tubes were nearly pinched shut and didn’t allow anything in, or out, of the small openings. This almost guaranteed that, even if Tsubaki was ovulating, there was almost no way to guarantee the sperm would even be able to reach the egg, and that was assuming the egg was even capable of being fertilized since more than seventy percent were inert.

After a few minutes, Vahn’s hand sunk into Tsubaki’s body and he came into direct contact with her womb before tracing his finger into the interior. He couldn’t actually feel anything since their bodies were perfectly fused through his energy, but Vahn still felt very strange as he diffused his source energy through his fingers and saturated the inside through direct contact. Vahn slowly moved his hand through her abdomen, literally centimeters every few minutes, and eased the tension of the muscles that constrained the entrances to her fallopian tubes. He gently prodded the bundle of nerves and slowly, very slowly, forced the pinhole opening to widen. Though he wasn’t sure if it was a good metric to use, Vahn continued his efforts for nearly two hours until Tsubaki’s openings were similar im size to Hephaestus and Loki. Since goddesses had ‘flawless’ bodies, Vahn assumed this would be the ideal size that would guarantee the greatest chance of success in her future attempts.

Before he completed the delicate procedure, Vahn tried to revitalize some of the inert eggs within Tsubaki’s ovaries and had a marginal amount of success. Though he didn’t really revive any, the vitality in the active ones increased by a fair amount. He then, though it felt incredibly terrifying, tried to contact the inert eggs with his energy before storing them into his inventory. His initial intention was to uses his [Eyes of Truth] to destroy the inert eggs, but Vahn was already very tired and he didn’t want to risk overusing his energy for such a dangerous act. It wasn’t much better forcibly storing the microscopic eggs into his own inventory, but it was the lesser of two evils and would allow Vahn to potentially study the inert eggs in the future. Surprisingly, he got a fair amount of good karma by the time he was finished with the procedure.

Now that he had completed phase two, the next phase was arguably the most important because, if he failed, he wouldn’t be able to actually bring Tsubaki back. He had to bank on her own willpower and his successful execution of the skill as he slowly tried to restore functionality to her body. He flipped her body over onto her stomach and, instead of placing his hand back into her body, began rapidly pressing on a variety of pressure points, nerves, and muscle junctions to stimulate them to activate. He had a few short minutes to completely reactivate her body before the state of ‘Enlightenment’ wears off or she would suffer a severe trauma to her mind that she might never wake up from. Though her body had been kept in a near ‘flawless’ state for the last few hours, it had also become ‘dormant’ as her mind had completely stopped putting any effort into sustaining it. He also had the task of ‘waking’ her from the state before it wore off, or there was a real chance her body would just break down into the constituent parts of its mana.

After pressing each of the key points, Vahn placed two fingers at the base of Tsukabki’s head, where it connected with the neck, and two more fingers at the tip of her tailbone, right at the spot where her butt cheeks split. He waited patiently as he watched the synapses in her body fire from his earlier actions until they had all linked together and converged near the points of his fingers. The moment he felt the almost undetectable twitch of her body, Vahn put a powerful energy into his fingers as he traced them towards each other along the line of Tsubaki’s back. This was the original purpose of the ‘Heaven and Earth Convergence’ skill, because it would even be able to ground someone that had obtained ‘Nirvana’, or ‘Heaven’, and bring them back to ‘Earth’.

Tsubaki’s previously fluttering eyes opened wide, though Vahn couldn’t see them, as she released a silent shout before a stifled, painful sounding, gasp like a scratchy monotone noise. Vahn had been paying attention to her body so, even though he couldn’t see her face, he knew she had successfully awoken. He couldn’t see any problems in her body, in fact, he saw several ‘great’ things about it, so he felt incredibly relieved. Though he would still have to check on her later to make sure there were no problems, Vahn released a long sigh before pressing on a few points to allow her to escape the perpetual climax her body was forced in to. Since he had ‘held back’ quite a bit during the procedure, Vahn raised his hand and smacked Tsubaki’s left butt cheek with a bit of force as he said, “Welcome back, Tsubaki…” His words finished, all the tensions drained from Vahn’s body and he passed out on the spot.

Though she had been stuck in the ‘echoes’ of her earlier climax, Tsubaki was aware of what Vahn was saying after feeling the stinging sensation on her own butt. When he fell, she moved to try and catch him, but his body had collapsed toward her and knocked over the stand he had propped her body on. They fell hard to the ground, and Tsubaki rubbed her butt a little before removing Vahn, who had by providence fell into her breasts, away from her body. She could tell he was in a state of complete mental, and physical exhaustion, so she affectionately stroked his head for a bit before picking up his limp body and placing it on her own futon. Tsubaki wasn’t sure what he had done, since she couldn’t remember anything after the first hour or so, but she knew he had done his best for her.

Tsubaki felt a little bad for Vahn, since he had worked so hard and she still intended to remain ‘unconvinced’ and force him to take a step back for his own happiness. She stroked his head affectionately for a while and said in a quiet, almost inaudible voice, “Sorry…it’s better this way.”

After leaning over and giving him a kiss on the forehead, Tsubaki stood up and stretched her body a bit. She had noticed it earlier, but her body didn’t feel anything like she remembered. The small aches that were always present in her joints had been completely removed and she felt far more limber and flexible than before. There was even a healthy sheen to her skin and she couldn’t help but commend Vahn’s technique.

Since she felt incredibly hungry, Tsubaki wanted to go make some food so she began to get dressed. She wore her fundoshi as normal, but the moment the cloth came into contact with her genitals Tsubaki felt a strange, almost out of place sensation. Her sensitivity had faded a great deal with time, but now she actually felt ‘uncomfortable’ with the cloth against her skin and immediately felt embarrassed after thinking about what Vahn must have done when she was passed out. She stripped out of the almost painful cloth and visually inspected her own crotch while also extending her fingers towards the now ‘unfamiliar’ flesh. The moment she saw her own v*****, Tsubaki’s eye widened and she felt a powerful sense of incredulity well up inside of her. She felt like she had returned to her teens and she noticed that the feel of her own insides was far more firm and smooth than she remembered. Even the area where her hymen had been torn previously had recovered by a large amount and she was genuinely shocked by the revelation.

Though she hadn’t cared much before, now Tsubaki was very interested in the changes of her own body and moved over to a large secretary she didn’t often use. Most of her clothing consisted of the same few outfits, and she didn’t wear makeup at all, so Tsubaki didn’t have a standing mirror in her room. The only one happened to be inside her somewhat dusty secretary and when she saw her own reflection she paused. For nearly a full minute, Tsubaki couldn’t believe what she was seeing as she gingerly touched different parts of her body. Though she didn’t have any wrinkles previously, her skin now seemed fresh, and young, almost vibrant, compared to its previous appearance. She didn’t simply feel younger, but her reflection made her feel like she had stepped more than ten years into the past. Everything from the lines of her body, to her breasts, v*****, and especially her butt, all appeared to be in a flawless state. Every scar on her body had been completely removed and even some of the freckles that often bothered her had vanished entirely.

Tsubaki spent nearly a half hour just inspecting her own body and, no matter how long she looked, she felt like she was unable to believe what her own eyes saw. She had even removed her eyepatch to verify she wasn’t under an illusion and noticed that the flow of mana in her body was much stronger than normal. It was almost like, not only the joint tension, aches, and pains, but even the channels within her body and blood circulation had improved greatly. It was simply ridiculous because she felt like she hadn’t simply recovered the prime of her youth, but exceeded it greatly. Though she didn’t often compare herself to other girls, Tsubaki almost felt like she had become ‘flawless’, like an actual goddess instead of a mortal. With her discerning eyes as a [Master Smith], she was even able to tell that Vahn had somehow balanced her body, including her breast size and position of her muscles…

Looking over, she saw the contented smile on Vahn’s face and frowned deeply for a few moments before noticing her own reflection. Though it was a strange thing to think about oneself, Tsubaki felt like a ‘frown’ didn’t suit her current appearance. It was like she was looking at her younger self upset and she couldn’t help but want to reach out and cheer up the young woman. As her hand came into contact with the mirror, Tsubaki suddenly felt more grounded, like she had finally realized the woman within the reflection wasn’t her younger self, but the person Vahn had literally shaped her to be. This was how he saw her, the ideal within his heart and mind, and it was that of a beautiful young woman in the prime of her youth, not an aging blacksmith that was well past her prime.

After having this realization, Tsubaki released a long sigh and drooped her head low before giving a sidelong glance at the sleeping Vahn. Based on the changes she could see to her body, Tsubaki even suspected there were several things she wasn’t even aware of yet. Even if she wanted to pretend to be unconvinced, the moment the other girls saw her she would immediately be forced to retract her statement. A procedure that could fix imperfections while also revitalizing the body by nearly ten years was simply irrefutable evidence of Vahn’s earlier claim. That meant that, unless she planned to go back on her own word for the first time in her life, there wasn’t anything she could say or do to avoid the consequences of her own words. It looks like, though she had started with a massive lead, Vahn had overtaken her in an instant and invalidated any advantage she had gained over him. From now on, they stood on even grounds and there wasn’t much she could do besides delaying the inevitable…

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As she was still hungry, Tsubaki quickly got dressed in some lighter attire that she didn’t often wear. Though she usually wore fundoshi, since her casual outfit was that of a hakama and sash, she was now wearing a proper pair of silk panties she used for special occasions. The smooth silk was far less abrasive than the fundoshi and Tsubaki released a sigh knowing she would probably have to wear normal panties from now on, at least until her ‘sensitivity’ faded. Instead of her sarashi and hakama, Tsubaki wore a simple bathrobe that was styled like a kimono without an obi. There was a simple sash that held it together and she walked outside of her room to get some food.

The moment she unlocked the door, Tsubaki nearly stepped on the sleeping Lili laying outside and turned her attention to see that it was still night time. She thought that the procedure had lasted longer and was surprised to find that not much time had passed at all. Lili woke up near her feet and stared blankly at her for nearly a minute before pointing and screaming, “WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO YOU!?” Tsubaki began to laugh at Lili’s reaction and noticed that her own voice was less husky than normal. It seemed that, with the revitalization of her body, her voice had changed a bit to match. She sounded younger, more womanly, more vibrant than she had in the past. Lili stared at her with abject shock on her face as she said, “You were with Vahn for nearly an entire day without answering the door, and the moment you come out you look like you’re barely out of your teens. What on earth happened!?”

Tsubaki blanked for a moment before asking, “You said, nearly a full day? Seriously?” She looked back into the room where Vahn was sleeping and felt more than a small amount of warmth spread through her chest. She knew he worked hard to obtain her ‘approval’, but she hadn’t expected he spent nearly an entire day for her benefit. Of course, it made sense considering how drastically she had changed in the period where she was unconscious. She shook her head and looked back at Lili and said, “Even I’m not sure what happened, I just know that Vahn did his best…here, I’m very hungry and plan to head to the kitchen and grab something to eat. Let’s leave Vahn to sleep for now and then we’ll ask when he wakes up…” As if she remembered something, Tsubaki began to sweat as she remembered the existence of the network that she and Vahn had likely been ignoring for the last day or so…

Like the voice of providence itself, Lili nodded her head before worriedly gazing toward the room and saying, “A lot of people were worried and have been asking what was going on through the network. You have a lot of explaining to do Tsubaki-sama…” Lili’s words made a chill run down her back, but Tsubaki laughed it away the moment her stomach grumbled a bit. Without warning, she picked up Lili’s body and began to carry her to the kitchen. Lili struggled and said, “No, I just want to check on him~! Release me you gorilla woman!” Tsubaki laughed joyously before spanking Lili’s butt with her hand and saying in a cheeky manner, “Is that any way to speak to a beautiful young woman such as myself~? Hahahahaha.”

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